AA and Terminal Identification-itis

There is a horrendous peer pressure on anyone who ever attends an AA meeting to renounce one’s identity as an individual and to identify with the group. And there is horrific social pressure on anyone who ever has a problem with alcohol to join AA in spite of AA’s lack or any track record of success. People who attend AA and insist on showing any trait of individuality are told that they suffer from a condition called “Terminal Uniqueness”–that if they insist that they have a personality of their own it means that they will drink and die.

People who do not have the sense to preserve their personal identities and leave AA often stay and become more and more miserable and depressed with each meeting. When the depression gets bad enough they commit suicide. If they don’t commit suicide they go out and drink and all the AA programming about powerlessness kicks in and they kill themselves or someone else by driving drink or die of alcohol poisoning or withdrawal.

What is it that these people really died of?

Terminal Identification-itis .

These people forced themselves to identify with AA and everyone there even if it killed them.

And it did.

At AA meetings you always hear it said that “we are all the same”.

In HAMS we know that everyone is different.

Copyright © 2009, The HAMS Harm Reduction Network

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About Kenneth Anderson

Kenneth Anderson is the author of the book How to Change Your Drinking: a Harm Reduction Guide to Alcohol. He is also the founder and CEO of The HAMS Harm Reduction Network.
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